Smalley InstituteSmalley Institute

Research in RQI encompasses advanced materials, quantum magnetism, plasmonics and photonics, biophysics, ultracold atom physics, condensed matter and chemical physics, and all aspects of nanoscience and nanotechnology. In addition, numerous research efforts are focused on the development of innovations and emerging technologies, translating many of the scientific breakthroughs first seen here at Rice into useful applications that will benefit society.  Below are RQI members who are also Smalley Insitute members


Bioengineering

 

Michael R. Diehl

 

 

physical biology; intracellular trafficking and transport; macromolecular self-assembly; biomotor mechanics; drug delivery; macromolecular systems bioengineering; super-resolution microscopy

 

 
 Rebekah Anna Drezek

 

 

optical spectroscopy and imaging instrumentation for tissue diagnosis; metal nanoshells for cancer detection and therapy, drug delivery, and tissue welding; nanoshells for optical coherence tomography; surface enhanced Raman scattering sensing with nanoshells; quantum dots for biomedical imaging

Jianpeng Ma

 

molecular dynamics simulation of supermolecular complexes


Robert Raphael

 

examination of membrane mechanics; effect of salicylate and other Aspirin like molecules on lipid membranes; liposomal mediated delivery methods


Jacob T. Robinson

  Nanofabricated neural interfaces; Optical, genetic and electrophysiological interrogation of circuit dynamics; High-throughout nano-bio devices



Tomasz Tkaczyk

 

 

development of modern optical instruments for bioengineering; novel imaging instruments and systems for the early detection and treatment of cancer incorporating optics, opto-mechanics, electronics, software, bio-chemical materials

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

 


Sibani Lisa Biswal

 

 

self-assembling systems in nano and microfluidic systems; colloidal fluids; understanding and designing interactions among nanoparticles, biomolecules, and surfaces to achieve new types of functionality; interfacing biological molecules with inorganic substrates


Matteo Pasquali

 

 

interfacial and biological flows; multiscale modeling of complex flows of fluids; carbon nanotubes in liquids; visualization of single DNA molecules in process flows

  

Marc Robert

 

 

theoretical, experimental and computer simulation studies of the properties of matter; magnetic nanoclusters and carbon nanotubes; DNA and protein; ferroelectrics; disordered systems; magnetic nanoclusters embedded in metallic or semiconducting sol

 

Michael Wong

 

nanostructured materials, heterogeneous catalysis, and bioengineering applications; chemical approaches to assembling nanoparticles into functional macrostructures; solar cells; nanoparticle assembly; heat transfer fluids in quantum dot synthesis; catalytic processes of nanoparticles; surfactants in nanoparticle synthesis

Chemistry

  


Cecilia Clementi

 

 

model and characterize protein systems on a realistic time scale; dynamics of polymer translocation through nanopores; statistical mechanics techniques, molecular modeling and simulations to the study of protein systems, with a particular interest in protein folding and dynamics

 


Vicki Colvin

 

 

 

confined liquids and glasses; porous solids; size-exclusion chromatography; nanopurification of water; uniform nanocrystals; virus crystals as nanocomposite scaffolds; synthesis of monodisperse iron oxide nanocrystals by thermal decomposition of iron carboxylate salts; recycling size-exclusion chromatography for the analysis and separation of nanocrystalline gold

  

Robert Curl  

 

infrared laser spectroscopy and dinetics of free radicals; mid-infrared quantum cascade laser based off-axis integrated cavity output spectroscopy for biogenic nitric oxide detection; monitoring of ethylene by pulsed quantum cascade laser; formaldehyde sensor using interband cascade laser based quartz-enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy


Paul Engel

 

 

chemistry of free radical initiators and inhibitors of polymerization; single electron transfer mechanism in the functionalization of SWCNTs; SWCNT in biocompatible shell-crosslinked micelles

  

  

Jeff Hartgerink

 

 

supramolecular chemistry; synthetic collagen mimics; amphiphilic peptides; tissue engineering and regeneration; drug delivery; controlled mineralization of inorganics; self-assembly of nanofibrous alpha-helical coiled-coils; surface enhanced Raman and infrared spectra of peptide conjugated nanoshells; design and synthesis of peptides that bind CNTs; self-assembly of peptide-amphiphile nanofiber scaffolds for dental stem cells



Robert Hauge

 

 

high-pressure carbon monoxide process (HiPco) process for making carbon nanotubes; nucleation and growth of vertically-arrayed single walled nanotubes; semiconductor properties of CNT; armchair quantum wire; nanofibers; SWCNT coated polyacrylonitrile based carbon fiber

John Hutchinson

 

nanotechnology education




Bruce Johnson

 

quantum mechanical investigation of the molecular near-field response for molecules adsorbed on silver nanoshells, to understand molecule-metal nanostructure interactions, especially in the context of surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS); applications of wavelets to quantum dynamics; dissociative resonance Raman spectroscopy; development of pulsed multiline excitation DNA fluorescence technology


James L. Kinsey

 

dynamics of simple chemical reactions or molecular collisions; dynamics of decomposition of photoexcited molecules; photoemission during photodissociation


Anatoly B. Kolomeisky

 

complex chemical and biophysical processes using statistical mechanics; polymer translocation through nanopores

Chrisy Landes   developing ultrafast multiple-dimensional spectroscopic techniques and applying them to investigate the interpalys of photons, electrons and nuclei in molecules and molecular assemblies in condensed phases

  

 
Stephan Link

 

 

absorption and scattering spectroscopy of single metallic nanoparticles and nanowires, plasmon coupling in 1-D assemblies of nanostructures, diffusion of nanoparticles probed by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, anisotropic solvation of rod-shaped nanostructures in liquid crystalline solvents, and single molecule imaging of molecular machines


Angel Marti

 

 

photochemistry of fullerene; quantum dots in biomedical applications; supramolecular chemistry; inclusion compounds in fullerenes; proteins self-assembly

 
Gustavo Scuseria
 

 

theoretical chemistry; ab initio computational quantum chemistry; density functional theory; development of new methods for molecular electronic structure; applications to nanostructures





James Tour

 

 

molecular electronics; nanotubes for health applications; chemical self-assembly; conjugated oligomers; electroactive polymers; combinatorial routes to precise oligomers; polymeric sensors; flame retarding polymer additives; carbon nanotube growth; synthetic modifications and composite formation; hydrogen storage on carbon nanotubes; synthesis of molecular motors and nanocars; use of the NanoKids concept for K-12 education in nanoscale science; methods for retarding chemical terrorist attacks


R. Bruce Weisman

 

nanotube electronic structure; near-infrared fluorescence spectroscopy; SWCNT spectroscopy; biomedical imaging


Ken Whitmire

 

inorganic and organometallic chemistry; clusters of the heavy main group elements and transition metals; metal alkoxides, carboxylates and their conversion to metal oxides

Qianfan Xu   developing ultrafast multiple-dimensional spectroscopic techniques and applying them to investigate the interpalys of photons, electrons and nuclei in molecules and molecular assemblies in condensed phases

Junrong Zheng
  developing ultrafast multiple-dimensional spectroscopic techniques and applying them to investigate the interpalys of photons, electrons and nuclei in molecules and molecular assemblies in condensed phases

 

Eugene Zubarev

 

 

functional organic-inorganic nanostructures; mechanisms of molecular self-assembly; taxol-functionalized gold nanoparticles; amphiphilic gold, platinum, and palladium nanoparticles; optical properties and fluorescence of CdS quantum wires and nanorods

Electrical and Computer Engineering



Naomi Halas

 

 

optically active nanostructures; nanofabrication strategies to build, orient, and pattern nanostructures into materials and devices; characterize and understand the physical properties of optically active nanostructures, devices, and materials




Kevin F. Kelly

 

 

plasmonic near field optical microscopy tip for surface enhanced spectroscopy; surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy and microscopy; atomic force microscopy; scanning tunneling microscopy; scanning probe microscopy; single-pixel camera imaging; nanomachines; polymer nanostructures; carbon nanotubes; novel imaging instruments




Junichiro Kono

 

optical terahertz in semiconductor nanostructures and devices; high operating temperature infrared detectors; high magnetic field phenomena in CNTs; coherence in SWCNTs; vibrational dynamics of nanostructures; magneto-photoluminescence spectroscopy; time-resolved far-infrared spectroscopy; infrared photoluminescence spectroscopy; time-dependent photoluminescence spectroscopy


Daniel Mittleman

 

colloidal photonic crystals; sources, detectors, spectroscopy, waveguides, imaging, and sensing with terahertz radiation; near-field terahertz imaging and spectroscopy; terahertz plasmonics and metamaterials


Jacob T. Robinson
  
  Nanofabricated neural interfaces; Optical, genetic and electrophysiological interrogation of circuit dynamics; High-throughout nano-bio devices

Isabell Thomann
  Energy, photocatalysis, ultra fast spectroscopy and nanophotonics; applying nanophotonic concepts to advance renewable  energy and photocatalysis


Frank Tittel

 

quantum electronic devices; laser spectroscopy; nonlinear optics; laser-materials; interactions with applications in medicine and microelectronics


James Young

 

optical/photonic devices and their application to solving scientific and technical problems; physical layer of optical fiber communications and optical sensing

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science


Pulickel Ajayan

 

nanomaterials in energy generation and storage; multifunctional composites; nano-enabled bio-mimetic systems; nanoelectronics; nanosensors; active nanosystems



Enrique Barrera

 

thermoset nanocomposites with nanotubes; metal matrix nanocomposites; ceramic nanocomposites; nanotube shielding materials for space applications; materials for radiation protection; ceramic nanocomposites with nanotubes and nanofibers



Jun Lou

 

materials related issues and device developments for MEMS/NEMS applications; size effects in mechanical integrity and electrical properties of metallic nanostructures; interfacial behavior of NT/NW reinforced nanocomposites; novel nano-fabrication methods with implications for bio-nano interactions and sensing applications


Boris Yakobson

 

fullerene nanocage for hydrogen storage; electron transport of nanotube-based gas sensors; dislocation dynamics in multi-walled carbon nanotubes; real time microscopy of fullerene evaporation

Physics and Astronomy


Michael Deem

 

physical theories of pathogen evolution; vaccine design; Newton's laws of biology; structure, nucleation, and function of zeolites




Rui-Rui Du

 

 

quantum mechanical properties of electrons in low dimensional and nanoscale semiconductor structures and devices; ultracold electrons in low-D semiconductors and nanostructures; wavefunction engineering of individual donors for Si-based quantum computers; quantum transport measurement of the Si-nanostructures produced by atom-scale scanning tunneling microscopy patterning technique



Barry Dunning

 

using Rydberg atoms as a nanoscale laboratory to examine electron-molecule collisions at ultra-low electron energies; new generation of spin-sensitive spectroscopies for investigating geometric, electronic and magnetic properties of bulk surfaces and thin epitaxial films; surface chemistry to thin film magnetism




Jason Hafner

 

single particle spectroscopy of gold nanoparticles; development of a new tip technology for recognition AFM to enhance the ability to probe specific biomolecular interactions; fluid electric force microscopy; biosensing; biomembranes; optical properties in biomedical materials; shape-dependent plasmon resonances of gold nanoparticles; biomedical applications of plasmon resonant metal nanoparticles


Huey Huang

 

nanoscale structures formed in membranes; micromanipulator studies of vesicles to peptides; application of membranes and peptides in nanotechnologies


Randy Hulet
 

 

physics of atoms at ultra-low temperatures; Bose-Einstein condensation and quantum degenerate Fermi gases; realization of model condensed matter systems with ultra-cold atoms; superfluidity/superconductivity


Ching-Hwa Kiang

 

single-molecule dynamic force spectroscopy.; statistical Physics; protein folding; free energy reconstruction using Jarzynski's equality; DNA mechanics; protein-nucleic acid interactions

 

Thomas C. Killian

 

 

ultracold plasmas and fundamental questions about matter at extremely low temperatures; manipulating biological systems with electric and magnetic fields

Neal Lane

 

policy perspective on nanotechnology

 
Emilia Morosan

 

discovery, synthesis, and characterization of new materials with delicately balanced ground states; itinerant magnets; heavy fermions (HF); charge density wave (CDW) systems; superconductors (SC)

  

  

Douglas Natelson

 

nanoscale physics, in particular the electrical and magnetic properties of systems with characteristic dimensions approaching the single-nm scale; nanostructures for single-molecule sensing; nanoscale magnetic sensing; nanophysics of solid state systems; electrical properties of nanowires; transport and electronic correlations in nanodevices; electrically-driven phase transition in magnetite nanostructures; electronic conduction and coherence in nanostructures with molecules; quantum effects in nanoscale electronics



Peter Norlander

 

 

theoretical investigation of the electronic structure, transport, and optical properties of nanostructures using analytical methods such as Plasmon Hydridization theory and numerical methods such as Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) studies

  

Carl Rau

 

 

surface science; nanomagnetism; nanomagnetic devices; non-volatile, nanomagnetic random access memory (RAM) cells; nano-magnetic microscopy; nano-magnetic logic devices; nano-magnetic classical and quantum computing



Qimiao Si

 

 

theoretical condensed matter physics; strongly correlated electron systems, including magnetic heavy fermion metals, high temperature superconductors, and mesoscopic and disordered electronic systems


King Walters

 

experimental atomic and molecular physics; physics of surfaces; manifestations of electron spin; spin-sensitive surface probes